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Publication Detail
Ingenia, a novel program impacting sustainable development goals locally through students’ actions
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Mora CE, Chance SM, Direito I, Morera MD, Hernández-Zamora L, Williams B
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    76, 86
  • Published proceedings:
    International Research Symposium on PBL
  • ISBN-13:
  • Status:
Spain’s public universities agreed recently to contribute to the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals. The University of La Laguna (ULL) endorsed this agreement and launched INGENIA, which is a competitive funding program for projects conceptualised and performed by high school and undergraduate students, utilising a Project-oriented Problem Based Learning (PoPBL) strategy. This program addresses needs of the society in the Canary Islands; it supports participating students’ development of knowledge and skills regarding: (1) relevance of the problem each student team identifies, and the (2) viability, (3) impact, and (4) endurance of each team’s proposed solution. Forty-seven students were anticipated to participate in the program; these students would be supported by 13 academic staff alongside 11 postgraduate students who would participate in a student-facilitators subprogram. INGENIA formally launched at ULL on 31 January 2020, but was interrupted in mid-March when Coronavirus resulted in the closure of all Spanish universities. To date, academic staff have served as mentors, advising student teams in choosing significant local SDG-related problems and writing proposals to address the four aspects listed above. Student-facilitators would support these mentors to help keep undergraduate students on track and motivated during their project work. INGENIA accomplished almost two of three stages and started its third stage which has been restructured to be performed online after COVID-19 lockdown: (1) informative and training actions for getting academic staff and students interested in participating; (2) training of the student-facilitators; and (3) project development and presentation. In the first two months, students worked on project proposal. In the subsequent three months the selected teams were to develop and conduct their proposals, then report and present results. The final presentations would allow students to pitch solutions to local companies and public institutions to help secure additional funding after the end of the grant-funded INGENIA period. This paper provides details of the program, identifies methodological and pedagogical fundamentals upon which it is grounded, reports results of completed phases, and identifies implications that may be of relevance to other programs and in future iterations of INGENIA. The report may be of use to others wishing to conduct PoPBL and/or hands-on sustainability projects.
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